USPS to Halt Retail Sales at Staples
When the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Staples announced a retail partnership in 2013, USPS said "it’s time to celebrate.” But now, that program has been shut down and it's postal labor leaders who are rejoicing. They're cheering the demise of a program that had been the target of a vigorous campaign by postal unions that don’t want the post office privatized. USPS will discontinue retail services at Staples stores by the first week in March, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which led the fight.
Total Retail's Take: In dire straits, the USPS was thinking outside the box when it partnered with Staples for a "Retail Partner Expansion Program," which would essentially set up mini post offices in Staples’ stores across the country. And while the idea of giving consumers broader access to postal services and products was palatable to all parties involved, it was the use of non-union postal workers to do postal work that caused issues right from the start. The APWU picketed outside Staples’ stores, as well as called for a boycott of the retailer. With the program now dead, the USPS has to find other ways to innovate and change its business model. Its survival may hang in the balance.